What you need to know if you ride a bicycle in Ontario – Part 3

In a previous post, we discussed ways cyclists can stay safe on the road. 

This post will examine what cyclists need to know about riding near trucks, buses and street cars and how the law in Ontario applies to bicycles. This information can be found in the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) publication, Cycling Skills- Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling

The MTO emphasizes the importance of staying out of blind spots of bus and truck drivers. The rule of thumb is if you can see the eyes of the driver in their mirror, they can see you. It is best to stay well ahead, or well behind large trucks and buses. 

When the upper red lights of a stopped school bus are flashing, traffic must stop in both directions. Traffic is not allowed to proceed until the bus resumes motion or the lights stop flashing. 

In terms of streetcars, the law stipulates that cyclists pass streetcars on the right. 

The MTO offers other safety tips that cyclists want to consider such as the fact that most bicycle brakes work poorly in the rain, and aluminum and ally rims provide the best wet weather braking. 

Under the Highway Traffic Act, a bicycle is considered a vehicle, and a bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as other road users when it comes to obeying traffic laws. Cyclists are subject to fines for failure to comply with the rules of the road. 

For example, section 144/136 sets out the obligation to stop for red lights and stop signs and comply with all other signs; failure to do so results in an $85.00 fine. 

If a cyclist rides the wrong way on a designated one-way street (section 153), an $85.00 fine can be charged. 

The requirement for slower traffic to drive in the right-hand lane, or as close as possible to the right edge of the road (except for when turning left/passing another vehicle) is found at section 147 and the fine for failing to do so is $85.00. 

Cyclists can be fined $85.00 for riding in crosswalks according to section 140(6)/244(29) which states that cyclists have to walk their bikes when crossing at a crosswalk. 

Bikes are require to have certain lights on them. Section 62(17) states that bicycles must have a write front light and a red rear light and other visibility requirements or be subject to a fine of $20.00. Bicycles must have a bell or horn in good working order according to section 75(5) and at least one brake system section 64(3), or else pay a fine of $85. 

Bicycles are not allowed on highways and expressways as outlined regulation 630 of the HTA or else there is a fee of $85.00. 

There is a significant fine of $400.00 or failure to stop for stopped school busses when a bus’s upper lights are flashing. 

We hope that everyone practices safe cycling and driving, and cyclists and drivers and share the road this spring! 

If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a bicycle or motor vehicle accident, it is important that you contact the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.  

We understand that you may feel overwhelmed as a result of your accident and during the legal process and we strive to provide the best service possible and to help our clients in any way that we can, be it a referral to a specialist, rehabilitation provider, help securing a litigation loan or providing reassurance. 

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. 

What you need to know if you ride a bicycle in Ontario – Part 2

In a previous post, we discussed possible changes that could affect the way drivers and cyclists interact on the road, where motorists would be asked to leave 1 metre between themselves and cyclists in order to let cyclists pass safely. 

As with driving, there is much to know about riding a bicycle. The Ministry of Transportation’s publication, Cycling Skills- Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling provides information for cyclists. 

It should be known that the Ontario Highway Traffic Act defines a bicycle as a vehicle that belongs on the road. Bicycles, because they travel at a lower speed must remember the following 2 rules: 

  1. Slower traffic stays right
  2. Slower traffic must give way to faster traffic when safe and practical 

The MTO advises that cyclists should ride one meter from the curb or close to the right hand edge of the road when there is no curb, unless they are turning left, going faster other than vehicles or if the lane is too narrow to share. 

When it comes to changing lanes, cyclists should remember that the cars the vehicles in the other lane have the right of way and remember the importance of waiting for an opening before changing lanes, performing shoulder checks and signaling.

Vehicles making right-hand turns can be dangerous for cyclists. Motorists don’t always check for the presence of cyclists when making right-hand turns. If you are riding near a vehicle that is making a right turn, you have the choice of staying behind the vehicle or safely passing the vehicle on the left. It is not advisable to pass on the right side. 

The MTO advises that since intersections (of all types, including in residential areas, driveways and alleys) are a junction where collisions can occur, it is recommended that cyclists stay at least one metre from curbs in residential areas so that they are visible to drivers and vice versa. 

There are several signs and traffic signals that cyclists should be aware of, which can be found here, that indicate what roads bicycles are allowed on and what roads bicycles are allowed to travel on. 

If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a bicycle or motor vehicle accident, it is important that you contact the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.  

We understand that you may feel overwhelmed as a result of your accident and during the legal process and we strive to provide the best service possible and to help our clients in any way that we can, be it a referral to a specialist, rehabilitation provider, help securing a litigation loan or providing reassurance. 

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time.